Lily Iona MacKenzie's Blog for Writers & Readers

MY BLOG POSTS COMMENT ON SOME ASPECT OF WRITING & READING.

The Ripening
The Ripening:
A Canadian Girl Grows Up

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" Tillie’s grit and ability to face life’s challenges are inspiring, the seeds for later discovering her artist self. Tillie takes readers on a wild ride. Join her if you dare! "

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
Curva Peligrosa
Curva Peligrosa

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

Image is not available
FLING!
Fling!

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

"Fling! is both hilarious and touching. Every page is a surprise, and the characters! I especially loved Bubbles, one of the most endearing mothers in recent fiction. A scintillating read."

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
Freefall
Freefall :
A Divine Comedy

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" These fascinating characters will fill your imagination, defying expectations about aging, art, and what truly matters in life. "

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
All This
All This

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" Indicative of the title, the poems in All This range from the conventional lyric/narrative that captures an intense moment of emotion, an epiphany glimpsed briefly out of the corner of the eye, to the more experimental. "

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
No More Kings
No More Kings

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

Each finely crafted poem in this powerful collection comes alive on the page while she traces the days’ journeys with a painter’s eye, a musician’s ear, and the deft pen of a poet.

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
previous arrow
next arrow

Why I Write

Today I skipped my daily hour or more of writing. A discipline I’ve maintained for many years, it has resulted in over four novels, numerous short stories, poems, essays, and now a hybrid memoir. Not writing today made me think of a toddler I dreamt of last night. He told me he didn’t feel emotionally connected to me. At the moment, that’s how I feel about writing. Since I’m currently not immersed in writing a novel or poetry, I feel emotionally detached from the process, but not because I’ve stopped producing. I’m working on a manuscript that starts with my days as a high-school drop out—a memoir that is also an analysis of the genre.

Since memoirs seem to sell better than novels, I thought I’d focus on that genre for a while. I’ve enjoyed entering the halls of memory, reconnecting with my younger self. But while working on this project, I’ve felt only half alive. My non-writing life—the time I spend teaching, editing, tutoring, enjoying time with my husband, and managing our household—has suffered. If my writing doesn’t go well, nothing else seems to either.

For a few days, I took a break and worked on a couple of short stories and some poems. They animated me, stimulating my imagination, leading me into unexplored parts of myself. Characters and imagery and situations materialized that hadn’t existed before I took up my pen. Taking over the page, they roused some youthful part of myself that delights in new discoveries, and I was their conduit. It’s addictive, this dance with creation.

However, I don’t want non-fiction writers to think that I’m belittling their genre. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy writing more factual pieces. But the effort doesn’t give me the highs (and lows) of poetry and fiction. They invigorate me, revealing what hovers in and around the mundane, the everyday, lifting me out of myself. That’s the most exciting aspect: fiction and poetry open me up and allow me to inhabit multiple identities.

When I’m socializing with friends, I rarely discuss my writing process. Most aren’t aware of the commitment I’ve made to the writer’s life. I rarely mention my work, and they usually don’t ask. But they must wonder how I can continue writing books when the publishing world is so unfriendly to unknown writers. Till now, I’ve been satisfied with seeing my work in newspapers, magazines, and journals. If I Google my name, numerous sites come up. Those small successes are satisfying and give me pleasure. Yet they don’t carry the approbation that a published book does.

Still, nothing measures up to the act of creation itself. Why do I write? Because if I don’t, it feels as if part of myself has checked out. It’s as important to me as food. It is food, the word like a communion wafer that melts on my tongue, nourishing body and soul. It’s also like having a lover that never loses his attractiveness, always beckoning on the fringes of my days, waiting to embrace me.

Writing itself is a mysterious act. Putting symbols on a page not only connects us with our own inner worlds but also with others. It’s the ultimate act of communion, as intimate in its way as sexual union. It’s amazing how letters generate other letters, combining into words that lead us out of ourselves and articulate the wonders of this planet.

Perseverance? Is that what it takes to keep writing in the face of adversity and rejection and lack of recognition? The word sounds so duty bound, so driven. To me, a better word is discipline because at the root is disciple. Yet there are many lovely variations on this word that I actually prefer: student, follower, learner, devotee.

I’m devoted to following the intricacies of language and where it takes me. I’m ardent about words and what they evoke in our minds and imaginations, the worlds they create. And I’m constantly learning, a student of the writer’s craft, eager to open myself each day to the endless possibilities this calling presents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previous

Why have I written a book about dreaming myself into old age?

Next

In what ways are writers like the homeless?

3 Comments

  1. I’m with you on why write! Self-publishing my two books was gratifying, and the reviews I got were mostly very good. I was surprised at lack of support from most of my family, but c’est la vie! I’ve learned to have a thicker skin about that! What I’ve realized is that I love being “in the zone” while writing. I get totally lost in my poems and stories. I will continue whether anyone buys or reviews. I just want my writing in a published book.

  2. shokee ahmed

    No doubt you are a very good writer with novel and amazing ideas. I am impressed with your personality and thoughts so much that I intend to make you as my pen pal. just think over
    patiently and let me know your decision Thanks.

Comments make my day. Please leave one!

%d bloggers like this: